“So I woke up, and the world in front of my eyes was neither heaven nor hell, it was reality.”
World Embryo is a manga by the creator of Chrono Crusade, Moriyama Daisuke.Riku Amami, your average Ordinary High-School Student, receives a message from his long-lost step-aunt, Amane. She asks him to meet her in the hospital he was hospitalized at several years ago, "Please Find Me" she says. When arriving there, he hears a woman scream. Thinking it is Amane, he instead finds a gang of criminal youths who are attempting to rape a girl. Meanwhile, his entrance into the hospital has been spotted by two other young people, Rena and Youhei. They save Riku from the criminal youth gang, who run off. Youhei is revealed to be one of Riku's old friends from the period he was hospitalized.Suddenly, all mobile phones in the building ring. Riku tries to answer his, but is stopped by Rena and Youhei. The youth gang, whose leader was just phoning for reinforcements on his mobile phone, do move to answer their phones. Just then, their leader's eyes split vertically, the eye halves turning away from each other, while his body is shaking. The other gang members notice this and ask what is wrong.Cue next scene where a horrible monster with the gang leader's transformed face shows up behind the window behind Riku. Holding the shredded corpse of another gang member. Rena and Youhei see this, and Riku turns around. Seeing the horrible creature, Riku screams in horror and flees, still holding his mobile phone. Youhei tells Rena to deal with the monster, called Kanshuu, and goes to look for Riku. He finds him, but they are attacked by more Kanshuus. Riku flees again as Youhei defends him. Elsewhere in the building, Riku is attacked by another Kanshuu and then finds a mysterious cocoon, which once Riku touches it promptly kills the Kanshuu. The next day Riku wakes up in his bed and wonders if it all was a dream. Then he spots the cocoon sitting next to his bed...Later that day at school, Riku remembers what happened at the old hospital. Remembering the monsters, and thinking of the cocoon, he realizes it too could contain a monster. He goes home, only to find his step-mother cowering on the table holding a frying pan, because some horrible creature is wandering around. After some hijinks involving his step-mother and the cocoon, he touches it again, and something emerges from the cocoon. Not a monster, but a little girl closely resembling Amane when she was only a kid...After that, he enters a world beyond the scope of memories, filled with sorrow and heartwarming moments, all leading up to the Embryo.A character sheet is in the works.
This manga provides examples of:
Absurdly High-Stakes Game: The fate of the world rests on the Jinki users being used as pieces in what's basically a board game.
Subverted in that the game itself was just a way to gather all the Jinki Users so she could link them together and bypass Julie's restrictions on Embryo.
The Atoner / Must Make Amends: Ryuusei/Takao for his home, Riku for his lies, the chairwoman for releasing Shirou, Rena for her family and home, and Shirou for his actions. It's basically a theme at this point.
Takao was the very picture of The Stoic; he fights and murders without the slightest change in expression. However, once Youhei asked him for a spare Jinki core to save Riku, he completely loses it. Since it would mean wasting his mother/Julie's life.
Bifurcated Weapon: Riku's weapon changes into one after getting a second Jinki core. The sword guard detaches from the hilt and can be used as a dagger.
Big Bad: The Contamination Source, otherwise known as Shirou.
Bigger Bad: Adult!Nenee(Amane) when finally able to reach the same age as her original form becomes this. Only it turns out she's trying to pull everyone into the Embryo before the collective hatred spilled out and drowned the world.
Big Sister Attraction: Riku was in love with Amane, whom he called "Amane-nee", though she was his step-aunt technically. Her feelings about him were ambiguos.
Brother-Sister Incest: Riku thought of his step-aunt Amane as an older sister and everyone who knew them considered them to be siblings Riku confessed his feelings to Amane, she told him she would decide what her answer is after she had done what she had to do. Which never happens due to her disappearance.
Bilingual Bonus: In Japanese, Cage is written as Keiji. The characters used to write keiji have to do with the sphere of consciousness that resonates within a person.
Body Horror: Transforming into a Kanshuu. Except Kanshuu-Riku, whose transformation only included some minor changes.
Same thing also happened to Kurosawa; It's safe to assume that at least one person who got close to the Coffin Princess will be spared from being mindless Kanshuu.
Later it is revealed that Jinki are pieces of Julie, another Coffin Princess, which explains why it stop Jinki users from becoming mindless Kanshuu
Breaking the Fourth Wall: Nagase does this after catching Rena with his Jinki as she fell off a building. She is then hanging upside down with the Jinki wrapped around her leg with the tip close to her crotch (Does This Remind You of Anything?) and he makes a comment that it is not a very flattering position to be shown in in a manga.
After a 9-chapter flashback, one character complains, "Feels like you've been telling that story for at least 9 months."
Seriously starting with Riku and Neene's shower scene, when she first suggests Riku might be a Lolicon, and then continues when Riku throws water over Neene's head, prompting Shizuru to burst into the bathroom, suggesting she has been listening at the door the whole time.
Ms. Suzu, Hayato's maid. She blushes when talking about Hayato's bath, and has some other little slips when take care of him.
The poor Jinki User who got shredded in Chapter 69, and everyone else that meets the black beast..including Nanami.
Defensive Feint Trap: Subverted with Riku in the first volume. Of course it fails and he gets his ass kicked. Double subverted when Yohei and Rena show up.
The Ditz: Shizuru, at times. Especially the breastfeeding Neene episode. One has to wonder how she survives at work.
Defrosting Ice Queen: Arisugawa's character development. Bonus points because her nickname is actually Ice. (Arisu—>Aisu—>Ice)
Draco in Leather Pants: In-universe example: Takao. He reportedly killed seven people on a train to try out his new sword and killed fifty of his schoolmates during his graduation ceremony... and he's extremely popular among the netizens and the teenagers.
Emotion Eater: Embryo and related stuff. Memory eater, to be exact.
Enemy Mine: Takao and Ende are working together against the new threat. Which is Neene
Foregone Victory: Rena and Riku's fight end up with one of these for Rena. She doesn't like it, because Riku let her win.
Foreshadowing: Whenever Neene has dreams of her ascending some stairs, Amane pulls her back. Similarly, when Ende tries to deny Neene's access to the embryo, Amane appears, and Ende is visibly shocked. Cue chapter 72, with the revelation that Amane is the third, true Coffin Princess.
Gratuitous English: Joe is the main offendernote Though fan translations make this less obvious due to simply choosing to keep the words in with the translated English rather than go for straight Woolseyisms; evidence is still their with resulting awkward sentence structures, occasionally opting to use the English "you" in addressing someone, along with other words and phrases.
Hair Colors: Riku's hair is black normally, but it turns white with red streaks when his Jinki is activated.
Locked into Strangeness: Takao used to have dark hair before it turned white. Also Riku, after getting a second Jinki core his hair color change becomes permanent.
Rena when seeing her past, when she saw herself manipulating her father and refusing to help her family out of selfishness. Well, refusing to be sacrificed, but it's a Survivor Guilt.Grown-up!Neenee bring it up again in chapter 73.
Heroic Sacrifice: Youhei gives his Jinki core to Riku to stop him for turning into a Kanshuu, instead he is the one to turn into a Kanshuu, just like his teacher did for him before.
Neene sacrifices herself to stop rampaging Ende. Made more poignant with her calling Riku a liar, while it is clear that he had already begun to sincerely care for Neene, not just as Replacement Goldfish for Amane.
Rena's family tried to indoctrinate Rena to do this if Julie ever went out of control. Rena hates them for it.
Time will tell if he'll go through with it, but Riku holding himself hostage seems to indicate a willingness to pull this off.
He Who Fights Monsters: Most of NEFT Jinki users, also Takao who was more or less forced into this by Karasawa.
Hollywood Hacking: Averted when Hayato hacks into the NEFT's network. It takes time and the data download is not completed.
Lotus-Eater Machine: Evil!Nenee traps most of the cast in one as part of the game to decide the fate of the world around chapter 83.
Love Makes You Evil: Karasawa only wanted to revive Ende in order to reunite with Sayoko. He ends up killing countless civilians, turning people into Kanshu, and inducing Lost Rebound in their relatives to do it.
Love Makes You Crazy: All type of love, romantic or platonic, can turn someone upside down in this story.
Obliviously Evil: Grown-up!Neene doesn't really understand the consequences about taking people's Jinki's core. To make it worse, it seems that the entities that communicate with her this whole time is only concerned about reviving the embryo, consequences to humanity be damned.
Passing the Torch: How Riku got his Jinki from Youhei. Youhei himself got his the same way from his teacher. Doubles as a Take Up My Sword moment since when you lose your Jinki core, you turn into a Kanshu.
Poor Communication Kills: If everybody just can sit and talk a little for a moment, some deaths and tragedy can be avoided.
She got a point, though, last time she listen for infected people (her fiancee) it backfired spectacularly, and she ended with abortion and inability to pregnant,
Takao, why'd you just keep hunting Jinki Users indefinitely, instead of talking with them?!
Justified: The Jinki were born of Julie's death. To revive Julie, he has to gather every last Jinki nucleus in the world. Jinki Users turn into Kanshuu should they lose their nucleus. Make of that what you will.
Replacement Goldfish: Kyuukis or Coffin Princesses. Born by imprinting a dead person onto a cocoon, they grow into a clone of the said person that grows quickly and gains memories of the people they copied by eating other people memories. Neene is Amane's, Ende is Sayoko's, and Julie is Takao's mother's.
Riku and Nanami for their respective older sister and younger brother.
Sawako, was sort of a replacement of her twin sister Sayoko for Karasawa. Though for him their whole relationship was fake as he only loved Sayoko and Sawako was a mean to an end.
Reunion Kiss: Neene forces one on Riku upon reuniting with him in her adult form. Unlike most examples, this is played for squick value, especially since she has yet to switch to Amane's mentality by that point, and Riku and the audience has come to think of the relationship between the two as that of father and daughter.
To the Pain: Riku's tactics for getting information. Not that he'll really going with it....
Trauma Conga Line: Poor Riku. A classmate dies as a result of his lies, which gets him to start doubting his actions and lose control of his emotions. Then Neene disappears in front of his eyes, protecting him and Rena, just as he realizes how precious she is to him, not as a means of bringing Amane back but as Neene herself. After that, Karasawa indulges him in a little information via flashback - that he and Riku were pretty much identical to each other. This breaks him even further, compounded with the grief from having lost Neene. He bounces back a bit after returning, though, in which he then gives up on Amane and decides to embrace his present, especially the people important to him now. Nanami, the one who made him have that realization, then dies, and he and Rena arrive on the scene just long enough to see her body disintegrate to dust, save her decapitated head. Intent on having his revenge, he chases after the Kanshuu responsible, only to stumble onto a very much alive and older Neene - who is then taken over by Amane, and is revealed to be a Coffin Princess. Even worse, Amane reveals to him that everything up until that point was thanks to Riku's actions after having received Amane's text message calling out to him - and because of that, indirectly or directly, he was responsible for all the deaths and destruction that have occurred.Poor kid just can't catch a break.
Poor Rena as well.
True Companions: Quite a recurrent theme among the F.L.A.G. members, especially Joe. Riku doesn't really buy it.
Unstoppable Rage: Takao, after Youhei asked him the wrong thing. It didn't turn out well for both of them.
Also Riku has his moment in Chapter 52.
Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Neene and Kanshuu/Jinki Riku's ears. The first time anyone at NEFT mentions Neene's extra ears is when she's stuck in an MRI machine, but they're obvious any time she isn't wearing a hat. This is especially bizarre considering NEFT was scrambling to figure out the source of infection when Riku was still a Kanshuu-thing, when he and Neene had the same peculiar ears on their heads in the middle of a heavily monitored anti-Kanshuu safe room. Probably working as intended, however, as it has since been revealed that Neene can make you forget that you're looking at her while you're staring at her.
Was It All a Lie?: Riku questions this after it is revealed that he had been manipulated to raise Neene.